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KQLY returns to competitive play

The French player hasn't competed in over two years after he was caught by Valve's anti-cheat service.

One of the most infamous names in competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is looking to stage a comeback.

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Having previously competed with the French Titan roster, Hovik “KQLY” Tovmassian was found to have used third-party cheating software after an extensive investigation by CS:GO developer Valve. As a result, he was permanently barred from ever competing at any competitions organized by the developer.

Prior to his ban, KQLY was widely considered to be one of the best players from France, and competed for a number of French top teams in 2014. In the months leading up to his ban, KQLY was able to win the DreamHack Stockholm Invitational—which made his team one of the favorites heading into the 2014 DreamHack Winter Major. Due to KQLY receiving his VAC ban roughly a week ahead of the event, Titan were disqualified from the tournament.

But roughly two and a half years after being effectively ostracized from the competitive CS:GO circuit, Vexed Gaming has announced that KQLY will be competing on its roster, as part of a trial-run at the upcoming ESL Championnat National event in Paris. While this is definitely a controversial move, the career outlooks for banned players became a lot brighter on March 23—as ESL, the largest tournament organizer in esports, announced that VAC-banned players will be allowed to compete in its tournaments after a two-year period.

Vexed confirmed that ESL’s updated rule set is the reason behind the, as of yet, temporary addition of KQLY, writing that he “will join vexed for a trial period in which will see him play in the up and coming ESL Championnat National. With the recent change of rules from the ESL in regards to the stance of VAC bans on a professional level we feel this is a viable option.”

ESL Championnat National starts on May 2, and features teams such as EnVyUs Academy and Epsilon France.


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Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports